Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Dipanwita Deb


In Cheema v. Thompson, a group of Sikh students suspended by the Livingston Union School District for carrying knives to school as dictated by their religion sued the district under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The students are now back in school awaiting trial on the merits of their RFRA claim. This Note examines the Cheema case and uses it to argue that the language of RFRA as it now exists is inadequate to serve the broad religion-protective purposes for which the statute was enacted. The Note then proposes new amendments to RFRA, and tests the workability of these amendments in the context of two other recent cases brought under the Act.